Words melt on my tongue like an ice cube, or a chocolate pastille. I like searching for words, like reaching for them, like calling them forth from the depths of my brain. And sometimes I can. But sometimes they hide there for hours. Dormant, dusty, shrouded, hidden, sometimes words are that itch between my shoulder blades, that spot I can't reach no matter how hard I stretch.
So I pick another, temporarily. But when a word's wrong, it's just wrong. It's an off-key note. It’s milk gone sour. It’s mildew.
Of course, someday, in a decade -- two? three? -- finding the right word will be hard, daily. Harder than finding a tiny stone in a pot of lentils. You'll know it’s there because you saw it, once, reflecting the light. So you spill the contents of that pot through your fingers again and again and again, like sand, sifting and straining, looking for that one shiny pebble, and you think you see it, but no, and after a while you give up, realizing hours have passed, and all you have is a wasted day.
This time will come, eventually. It does for all of us.
When words don't come, I'll read but not write. I'll hear but not compose. I'll eat but not cook. When words don't come, I'll drink in others' words instead, like so much sweet tea, remembering a time when I, too, knew how to brew a sentence with just the right mix of balance and strength, in three to five minutes, flat.